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Azden has set a new level in quality and performance with the SGM-250 Professional Dual Powered Shotgun Microphone. The SGM-250 was designed for video and filmmaking
professionals to deliver broadcast quality sound at an affordable price. A completely redesigned microphone element drastically improves sensitivity, frequency response and signal to noise ratio.
The all metal-alloy case provides rugged durability and strong resistance to RF. Its custom designed, slotted, acoustic barrel exhibits excellent super-cardioid directionality and side noise
A recessed switch area has been added to the body of the microphone for comfort and feel. The features here include a switchable low-cut filter to help reduce low frequency noise, a power switch
for either battery or phantom power operation and an LED battery indicator. The SGM-250 can work off standard 48V phantom power or a
single AA battery with virtually no loss in performance.
Measuring 250mm in length (about 10 inches) the SGM-250 is suitable for almost any filming situation. Long enough to capture great
sound from a distance while mounted to a boom pole or on top of a shoulder cam, its still unobtrusive enough to be used on compact DSLR cameras.
The SGM-250 comes with a leatherette, zippered carry pouch,
shock-absorbing mic clip with shoe mount and a foam windscreen.
In The Box • Zippered carry pouch • Foam Windscreen • Shock-Mount Holder • Manual
• Handcrafted in Japan • Newly developed, original microphone element • Wide frequency response and dynamic range • Dual power operation (phantom power or AA battery) • LED battery indicator • Low-cut filter • 250mm length to better fit smaller cameras • All metal alloy case • 10 year warranty with online registration
20Hz - 20kHz
115dB 48V phantom / 110dB battery
-38dB at 1kHz (0dB = 1V/Pa)
120 ohm at 1kHz
Max Input SPL
132dB 48V phantom / 127dB battery (1kHz at 1% T.H.D.)
77dB (1kHz at 1Pa)
DC 11-52V Phantom or AA battery
250mm x 21mm (9.84" x 0.83") (Length x Diameter)
160g (5.65 oz)
Shock mount, windscreen, pouch
Standard 2 years and extended to 10 years on web register
AZDEN SGM - 250
Azden are a manufacturer from Japan who specialise in quality handcrafted microphones and mixers, catering mainly to the
video/film community. They have quite a range of wireless lapel and hand held microphone systems as well as a decent range of shotgun mics. All of their products are reasonably priced, but competition
is stiff, with heavyweights like Sennheiser, Rode and Audio-Technica all vying for a piece of the Semi Pro/Pro video
On trial today is the SGM - 250 Shotgun Microphone.
Once I remove the mic from it's packaging a soft leatherette pouch is revealed. It seems a little light on, but upon further
inspection I realise it's slight padding provides adequate protection in transit. The mic itself feels solid and robust and weighs 160g. It is powder coated black and nicely finished. The XLR
output connector is gold plated It comes with a standard camera mount and a foam windshield.
It comes with 'standard' 2 year warranty, but this is easily
upgraded to 10 years by logging on to the Azden website and registering your mic. This represents great commitment to the quality of the mic and certainly worth following up. It is 250mm x
21mm, so it is slightly shorter than it's main competitors, the Rode NTG-2 and the Sennheiser MKE 600. These mics are all similarly priced and spec'd. I actually have an NTG-2 and an MKE 600, so I
thought I'd like to compare them to the SGM -250 to gauge where it sits.
The SGM - 250 is dual powered, running on a single 1.5 volt AA battery, or phantom power. Running a mic on battery power affects
its dynamic range and input level, although each of the mics mentioned perform more than reasonably - the Max Input SPL on both the Rode and the Sennheiser dropped from 132db SPL w/P48 to 126db
w/battery when using battery power, while Azden ranged from 132db SPL w/P48 to 127db w/battery. The rolloff on the SGM -250 sits little higher than the Rode and Sennheiser at 160 HZ, 3db/octave -
the NTG-2 (80HZ 12db/octave) and MKE 600 (100HZ ). My personal preference for shotgun mic applications is to have a slightly higher rolloff point, as 160HZ ensures that anything 'lumpy' down
low is gone and it's rated 3db/octave means it tapers off more gradually and smoothly. I mounted the mics on a T-bar and had a good mate sit down and play an acoustic guitar piece for me which I
recorded. It was an interesting test. The acoustic sat 1.5 metres from the mics and the results provided no real surprises. The NTG-2 had a well rounded bottom end, though somewhat extended and
provided nice detail. It always works well in the field but sometimes I find myself switching in the rolloff because of that slight low end attenuation. The MKE 600 also provides nice detail.
In my mind I always consider it provides a 'shiny' kind of sound because it is slightly attenuated in the upper end which emphasises vocals. It does sound quite 'forward' but there have been times
when I have found the Sennheiser to be slightly on the harsh side because of that attenuation - depending on the type of recording being done. The SGM - 250 has great detail and is quite flat. It
has a slight top end attenuation and the low end is present but not emphasised. For the acoustic it made it quite a direct sound that represented the guitar well from a listening perspective - that is,
it sounded a little more like the guitar actually sounded to my ears in the room. This isn't always necessary of course when recording instruments for artists, but given the type of recording
often being done by this class of microphone, being flat is something of an advantage. Given that these mics are going to be more often than not recording voice I recorded myself reading a
script that I had been working on and asked my compatriot to switch each mic between phantom and battery for this exercise. Not surprisingly, each mic responded in a similar manner to the
previous test, with the Rode having a smooth low end attenuation and the Sennheiser having a more pronounced top end. Again, the Azden provided great detail with a flat characteristic, but still
sounded present and quite direct. When switching between phantom and battery power the results were very interesting. When switching the Rode, it's level dropped and it lost presence in both the low
and high ends. This surprised me, as it has been a solid workhorse. The Sennheiser reacted similarly, although the drop in level when switching to battery was not as obvious as the Rode. It still
produced a direct sound with similar characteristics when phantom powered. When switching the Azden, there was almost no discernible difference in level or tone. This set it apart from the other mic -
a great outcome.
Azden have done a great job making the SGM - 250 sonically consistent across it's field of use - into a mixer or on a camera. This provides it with another level of versatility, because under
all circumstances using this mic in the field or in the studio it will provide the same sound quality. I was excited by the end of the practical tests because it made me realise what a good
microphone the SGM - 250 is. It sounds great and is a well built, quality product. It's great value for money, is consistent and
certainly would be a welcome addition to anyone's kit.
Fantastic & high performance mic...good for my camcorder use.
Value for $$$ .Before that, was using Rode NTG, after using SGM-250, immediate i sold my NTG away.... Thanks for your recommendation Mr Expandore!!!..
Great Product By Panda on 24/02/2016
It is a very good performance mic and cheap within the same range
of category. The pickup distance is superb and is much better than NTG2.